Squeaking Hardwood Floors and DIY Tricks, Tips, and Solutions
Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home but, they can come with some annoyances like squeaking. While it is a wonderful alarm system for sneaky kids or rambunctious pets, it's one of those sounds that seem to get on the nerves if left unchecked long enough.
New hardwood floors or recently refinished hardwood floors shouldn't squeak and, if they do, you should call the contractor. Besides a job being done incorrectly, if your hardwood floors have seen quite a bit of time of use then it could be for other reasons. Now, before you go running to call another contractor, there are plenty of things you can do yourself to stop the squeaking. Before we get to that, let's look at the cause of the squeaking hardwood.
Why Do Hardwood Floors Squeak
Hardwood floors aren't supposed to squeak, they are supposed to be stern and strong forever and ever. Although, they are made from organic material. They bend, expand, warp, contract, and are sensitive to moisture. So, they won't be perfect forever.
Wear and tear happens with part of the house, especially the hardwood floors you walk on. Depending on the activity in your house, creaky hardwood could happen much sooner. It isn't a fault of the homeowner, these things just happen. Everything in a house needs upkeep and that includes hardwood floors that won't stop creaking at you.
Besides use, the squeaking may be caused by loose subflooring, the wood being dried out, and having shrunk, rubbing up against each other. It's unlikely to be a sign of a more serious issue. If you hear a lot of hardwood floor squeaking, don't fret. Just take a look at the tips below to get the home nice and quiet again.
Squeaking Hardwood Floor Fixes
It was mentioned earlier but, you don't need to call a contractor to fix squeaky floors unless there is some refinishing work to be done. With that in mind, here are a few tips to rid yourself of hardwood floors squeaking away:
1 Fix the Gap with Shims:
Beneath the floorboards, there may be space causing the squeaks. Remember that hardwood floors expand and shrank, that can cause space to arise. Use a shim to help rid yourself of squeaky hardwood floors.
2 Construction Adhesive
Long gaps can't be fixed with a bunch of shims, it would just cause a different sort of squeaking from wood on wood. If you find a long gap, try construction adhesive to silence the hardwood squeaks.
3 Gap Closures
If you're noticing gaps around where the hardwood floor squeaks, take a rubber mallet to it, move the floorboards closer together. That should do the trick.
4 Slight Sounds
If it's just a light case of squeaking hardwood, just sprinkle some talcum powder over the squeaking boards. Make sure to work into the cracks between planks and get in with a putty knife. Step across the boards a few times to make sure it soaks in. That should solve the slight creak. If it doesn't, other tips may better apply.
5 Secure the Screws
Sometimes hardwood floors squeak because of a loose screw. So, take a gander around where you hear the squeaking to see if there is a loose nail. If so, secure it. The same is true in reverse. You can secure a loose floorboard that is causing the squeaks with a screw through to the subfloor. Be careful not to go through the hardwood or it can cause several other problems.
Tips, Tricks, and Squeaks to be Fixed
While that is a quick rundown of fixing squeaky hardwood floors, there are dozens of tricks you can use to secure a silent home. You should first find out where the squeaks are coming from and see how long ago it was when you had your floor refinished.
Time, wear, and location will inform what you should do. Whether it be a do it yourself fix or calling a contractor. Know what you're dealing with first and foremost. Who knows, if the floor was installed incorrectly you may not even have to deal with it yourself. So, take some time to get to know your floors, your subfloors, and find out what they're telling you.
A squeaky floorboard is only trying to communicate that it may not last forever. Make sure you listen so that it can keep being a beautiful addition to your home.